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Oddities News Archive - August 25, 2009

I should have seen this coming. I've always known my son was too much like me. When I took him to kindergarten the first time, he never looked back. I'm told I did the same thing. And the second time he went to overnight camp, I think I got one postcard.

The northern Israeli city of Kiryat Yam has offered a $1 million prize to anyone able to prove a mermaid sighting off the city's shore, a city spokesman said.

Two American and English women who were pen pals as children but lost touch as they grew up have finally met in person 41 years after their letters stopped. Dorothy Forshaw of England said she made plans to travel to Des Moines, Iowa, to meet childhood pen pal Linda Biegger after her 14-year-old nephew tracked her old letter-writing companion to her most recent address in Iowa, KCCI-TV, Des Moines, reported Tuesday. When I got that letter, my heart kind of skipped a beat because I thought this can not be happening.

Police said no injuries or property damage resulted from a hot air balloon's emergency landing in an Ohio neighborhood. Kettering Police Officer Michael Burke said the pilot of the balloon told officers he was forced to make an emergency landing on Crauder Avenue because of weather-related troubles,

Five London ATMs programmed with Cockney as an alternative language left some users amused and others annoyed. Bank Machine, which operates 2,500 ATMs in Britain, programmed the Cockney machines to ask users if they need some moolah for ya sky rocket, The Times of London reported Tuesday. Caroline Smith, 40, a West London brand consultant, said the machine's Cockney dialect made my day. However, London computer specialist John Strachan, 52, said he found the Cockney messages, including readin' your bladder of lard and a request for his Huckleberry Finn, indecipherable. It's complete pants, Strachan said.

A British man has complained to candy maker Haribo about a candy wrapper he described as sexually charged. Simon Simpkins of Pontefract, England, said the Haribo Maoam wrapper depicts a male lime character engaged in a sexy clinch with a cartoon lemon, The Sun reported Tuesday. Simpkins said in his

Passersby flock to a New York meatpacking district hotel allegedly to see exhibitionist scenes from patrons' windows, a Parks Department worker said Tuesday.

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A Norwegian man seeking to collect 1 million hand-created giraffes for his Web site said the total drawings and models has surpassed 130,000.

Officials in a Florida town say about 20,000 property owners received tax bills 10 times higher than they should have been due to a decimal point error. Palm Beach Gardens Finance Administrator Allan Owens said the city's debt tax rate is .149, but the rate was mistakenly calculated at 1.49, meaning the correct amount owed by property owners is one-tenth of the number shown on the bill, The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post reported Tuesday. I've received many calls, Owens said.

Police in New Hampshire say a man who drove his car through a barricade, striking a police officer, was angry about his street being closed for a parade. Investigators said Paul Boucher, 77, refused to wait for the Old Home Day parade in Allenstown to pass before pulling away from his home.

Word of the Day
barratry
  • The offense of persistently instigating lawsuits, typically groundless ones.
  • An unlawful breach of duty on the part of a ship's master or crew resulting in injury to the ship's owner.
  • Sale or purchase of positions in church or state.
This word ultimately comes from the Old French word 'barater,' to cheat.
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